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Duties and Responsibilities of a Mayor

Ashmeet Bagga Oct 20, 2020
Irrespective of the size of the city, the mayor is considered to be its leader. Apart from handling the daily administration of the city, he is responsible for a variety of functions. Local government depends on the duties he undertakes.

Did You Know?

Among the sitting city mayors in the United States, Charles E. Long of Booneville Kentucky has held the position of a sitting city mayor for the longest period of time as compared to others.
Normally a mayor is considered to be the highest official leader of a town, village, or a city. If he is representing the town, then a mayor needs to think about the best interests of the citizen. He is expected to support policies in favor of the city and graciously accept any suggestion made by a citizen.
Usually, a mayor is not alone when it comes to administering the policies and goals set by them. He is often backed by a team of city council, or board of commissioners who work together to attain the goals, which would benefit the society at large.
Different countries have a variety of laws and customs related to a mayor's duties and responsibilities. Also the tenure, the ways in which a mayor is elected are not the same in all countries. Based on the nation, a mayor can be a Chief Executive Officer of the Municipal Government or simply fill in the position with very less or no independent power.
There are two methods of selecting a mayor: either by public vote or selection by a governing council member or board. The mayor decides the culture of the city and the future plans. He acts as a chief spokesperson for various city activities and legislation. The success of the city depends on how efficiently he carries out his duties and decisions.


The mayor has the responsibility to form a budget, within available income of the city. He has to do this along with administrators and city officials. He also needs to ensure that the city is using the budget properly and not wasting resources.
The mayor has the responsibility to form a budget, within available income of the city. He has to do this along with administrators and city officials. He also needs to ensure that the city is using the budget properly and not wasting resources.
It's his duty to present and implement the budget, to make sure that the funds are distributed in an equitable manner. The aim should be to focus on tasks of urgent nature. Every year he should scrutinize to check if the budget was implemented and funds have been utilized correctly. He should be flexible enough to adjust the budget as and when need arises.

Creating an Emergency Plan

If an emergency occurs, he should be able to declare emergency in the city. He may instruct civil defense team to protect citizens against such disasters. He performs various rescue operations, notification plans, arranging transport, and repairing the damage.


It does not matter if he is working with a city commission, town council, or board of commissioners. He co-operates and works with them to pass legislations such as city taxes, liquor license, etc. Often he is the presiding officer at such meetings, hence his signature on all the documents is of utmost importance.
Additionally, it's his duty to appoint advisory committees, city clerk, or city treasurer. He has the power to sign and veto the legislation. It's his duty to explain the city council about the veto.

Enforcing Laws

Apart from all other responsibilities, he needs to enforce laws and ordinances set down by the government. He has to sign all the legislations, permits, commissions, and rules. He has the legislative authority to cancel any rule, not in the welfare of his city. People working under them have to report to him, if they find anyone not following the law.

Socio-cultural Responsibility

It is also his duty to beautify his city, and promote arts, culture, and recreational activities. If tourism is included in the business plan, the mayor should promote such programs to boost tourism industry and attract tourists from all over the world. He should ensure that all areas of the city are clean, and that citizens live a clean and healthy life.

Meeting his Citizens

A mayor before taking a decision should think twice if the decision would harm his city or citizens. He should listen to his citizens, workers, staff, department heads to get input about changes to be made in legislation. He should improve his goodwill and image by participating in various causes, attending school functions, speeches, community causes.
He also addresses his city at least once a year. This means connecting with his citizens, by keeping them updated about the progress of their city, any changes that have been made, or if they are planning to introduce any new law. He may also brief them about the future contracts or projects that the mayor maybe considering.

Promoting Peace

One of the main responsibilities of a mayor is to maintain peace and order in his city. No law or rule will work unless he maintains and promotes the practice of following peace. He is in charge of appointing public safety sector to avoid crimes in the city. He also needs to ensure that safety sector is working hard to reduce crime rate in the city.

Hiring People

Since he is in charge of the budgeting team, it's his duty to recruit individuals and to retain business and employment in his city. This will help solve the problem of unemployment as well as will help to build the city's tax base. He can attract businessmen to start their set-up in his city by offering attractive tax incentives for their business.

Managing Daily Operations

The mayor is responsible to oversee the daily operations of the city. He does that by supervising and guiding the various superiors of each and every department. He gets fully engrossed in long-term planning, also sees to it that every department is working towards the attainment of one common goal.

Meeting City Council

Another important responsibility, it is mandatory for a city mayor to meet its city council members whenever required. Attendance is compulsory, a mayor can sometimes suggest city legislation. They also have to provide any information asked by the city council. He also presides over the meetings of the council to ensure it runs smoothly.
Mayors always have the alternative of vetoing or accepting the law passed by the city council. In some cities or towns mayors often have to state the reason of vetoing.
His duties and responsibilities depend on the structure of the government of the region where he is appointed. Educational qualification is not stated, it comes to how popular he is among local people. His personality traits include being hospitable and influential. He should be approachable, so that an individual from any community can interact with him.